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"We were contacted by lawyers for Babyshambles a few years back," says Shambles front man Bart Mendoza. "When the Libertines broke up, they wanted to call their new band the Shambles. We'd already had records out in England by that time for, like, seven years." Mendoza says there were "vague implied legal threats" from the U.K. band's lawyers until they confirmed the San Diego group's trademark on the name. "Hence, we're the 'old' Shambles, and they have to call themselves 'Babyshambles.'"

Other Shambles have included an all-girl punk trio from San Francisco, a Celtic group from Boston, a rockabilly band in New York, a Canadian pop-punk group, and a Philippine death-metal band.

"We rarely even have to get a lawyer involved," says guitarist Kevin Donaker-Ring. "As soon as we let some pretender know there's a trademark involved and we're willing to aggressively protect it, people back off.... Our bassist is a patent and trademark attorney."

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